Scholarship Program

If you are funded through a 5310 or are a Tribal Transit provider you are eligible to apply for a scholarship to attend workshops, trainings, and seminars. RTAP supports opportunities for you to learn more. Requirements are noted below. 

How RTAP Awards Scholarships

Scholarship guidelines are established to ensure that Minnesota transit agencies have access to training, funds are distributed equitably throughout the state, and funding is not a roadblock to obtaining training. 

While the FTA section 5311 programs are receiving full-cost reimbursement of their operating budget through MnDOT, scholarship funds will be primarily allocated to FTA section 5310 agencies and Tribal Transit agencies. If funding is a roadblock for a 5311 agency to attend training, their scholarship request would be considered. FTA section 5307 agencies are not eligible for scholarships because they receive funds directly through FTA.   

There are a limited number of scholarships available for any given event/training. Minnesota RTAP will invite applications for a cohort of people to attend​ events that would be beneficial for Minnesota rural transit agency staff to attend.  

Scholarships are awarded with the intention that the recipient share what they learn with their agency and other agencies in the state. MnRTAP may ask the applicant to share what they learn in the form of a panel discussion, article for the website, profile in the RTAP email newsletter, or another format as appropriate.  

Scholarships are reviewed and awarded based on the question: “What specific value will this training bring to your job or agency?” If there are more applicants than available scholarships for any given event/training, MnRTAP will select scholarship applicants from different agencies and locations across the state to maximize the training benefit across the state. MnRTAP may choose to limit agencies to one applicant per event/training if there is a high volume of interest in that event/training.  

The following questions will serve as guidelines to determine the eligibility of a scholarship applicant:  

Question 1: Does the applicant work for an agency receiving FTA Section 5310 (including RTCCs and TCAPs) funding or a Tribal Transit agency? ​ 

If yes, continue​  

Question 2: Does the total amount requested fall within MnRTAP’s estimated expenses for out of state travel or in-state travel?   

If yes, continue​ 

Question 3: Are the requested reimbursements for lodging, meals, mileage, and other travel expenses permissible with state guidelines? 

If yes, continue 

Question 4: Is this the individual’s first scholarship request this year? ​ 

This is a factor, but individuals may apply and receive multiple scholarships per year, depending on available funds.  

Requirements

  • Complete one application for every person requesting a scholarship.
  • At no time should an applicant assume that the scholarship request will be approved. The program has a limited budget. 
  • The scholarship application must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the date of the training or event.
  • Should the training be announced less than 30 days prior to the actual event/training, please identify this in your application in the notes section. In this scenario, MnDOT RTAP will expedite the review.

The expense reimbursement request form must be submitted within 30 days of the event.

Please contact Deb Brisk at deb.brisk@mnrtap.net with any questions regarding your scholarship application or reimbursement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Breakfast reimbursements may be claimed only if the employee is on assignment away from their temporary or permanent work station in a travel status overnight or departs from home in an assigned travel status before 6:00 A.M.

Eligibility for noon meal reimbursement shall be based upon the employee being on assignment, over thirty-five (35) miles from his/her temporary or permanent work station, with the work assignment extending over the normal noon meal period.

Dinner reimbursement may be claimed only if the employee is away from his/her temporary or permanent work station in a travel status overnight or is required to remain in a travel status until after 7:00 P.M.

Except for the metropolitan areas listed below, the maximum reimbursement for meals including tax and gratuity, shall be:

Breakfast — $9.00
Lunch — $11.00
Dinner — $16.00

For the following metropolitan areas the maximum reimbursement shall be:

Breakfast — $11.00
Lunch — $13.00
Dinner — $20.00

The metropolitan areas are:

Atlanta
Baltimore
Boston
Chicago
Cleveland
Dallas/Fort Worth
Denver
Detroit
Hartford
Houston
Kansas City
Los Angeles
Miami
New Orleans
New York City
Portland, OR
San Diego
San Francisco
Seattle
St. Louis
Philadelphia
Washington, D.C.

If meals are included in the event registration, do not request reimbursement for meals. Receipts are not required for meals that are provided by the conference/event.

Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.

Lodging is reimbursable if the transit system is greater than 75 miles from the location of the event.

If there is a block of rooms reserved by the host of the event, make every effort to stay in that hotel for the discounted rate.